An issue about the use of private prescriptions alongside FP 10s was recently raised at the Contracts and Regulation subcommittee and this note seeks to clarify the position following legal advice.
The question raised relates specifically to whether GPs can issue private prescription forms at the same time as FP10s, in circumstances where this is a cheaper option for the patient than paying the NHS prescription charge. The subcommittee was asked to consider whether could be either a breach of the Regulations or collusion to defraud the NHS, who would otherwise recoup the prescription charge.
The legal advice we have received is clear that in cases of treatment under the primary care contract, GPs may not issue private prescriptions alongside and as an alternative to FP10s. In any case where a GP is obliged to issue an FP10 the concurrent issue of a private prescription will be a breach of obligation. In any case where a GP is obliged or entitled to issue an FP10 the concurrent issue of a private prescription will be conduct calculated to deprive the NHS of a small amount of money and will on that account also be wrongful.
The advice is therefore that GPs do not issue private prescriptions under these circumstances.
Select from the drop-down list below to view an item from our news archives.